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universal human reason, common to all men, . . . so there is a universal moral sympathy, common to all men, so far as it is unfolded; a conscience of mankind to which each man's conscience must conforin,' 35. 'Moral rules must be necessary truths, flowing from the moral nature of man,' 50. "An internal moral standard is one part of Conscience, and Selfknowledge or Consciousness is another part,' 235. But each man's conscience may err, and lead him to a false moral standard,' 238. Conscience is the Reason employed about
' questions of right and wrong, and accompanied with the sentiments of approbation and condemnation, which, by the nature of man, cling inextricably to his apprehension of right and wrong.'-Systemat. Mor. p. 144.
Dr. M'Cosh, formerly of Queen's College, Belfast, now President of Princeton College, United States of America, published in 1850 his work on The Method of the Divine Government, Physical and Moral, which is now in its eighth edition. Book III. contains an able treatment of the main ethical questions. President M'Cosh strenuously supports the inductive method as ruling in Moral Philosophy; begins by considering the nature of the Will, maintaining its freedom; and distinguishes the following questions concerning morals, -the mental process by which the distinction between virtue and vice is observed; the common quality or qualities in all virtuous actions,—the rule by which to determine whether an action is virtuous; and the consequences which follow from virtue and vice. He supports the doctrine of first principles in morals, which are distinguished by 'self-evidence, necessity, universality.' He says Conscience may be viewed in three aspects : (1.) 'as proceeding upon and revealing a law with authoritative obligations;' (2.) 'as pronouncing an authoritative judgment upon actions presented to it;' (3.) 'as possessing a class of emotions, or as a sentiment.' Dr. M'Cosh has also a criticism of Utilitarianism in his Exam. of Mr. Mill's Philos., chap. xx.
In America, Dr. FRANCIS WAYLAND published as a textbook his Elements of Moral Science. Its ninth edition, from which I quote, was published in Boston in 1839. “As soon as a human being comprehends the relation in which two human beings stand to each other, there arises in his mind a consciousness of moral obligation,' p. 44. This is a 'peculiar and instinctive impulse ; arising at once by the principles of our constitution, as soon as the relations are perceived in which we stand to the beings, created and uncreated, with whom we are connected,' 46. Further than this he does not press the inquiry. According to him, Conscience is imperfect. * There are many obligations under which man is created, both to his fellow-creatures and to God, which his unassisted conscience does not discover,' p. 113.
FRANCIS Bowen, in his Lowell Lectures on The Application of Metaphysical and Ethical Science to the Evidences of Religion, Boston, 1849, has a Lecture on Conscience, in which he maintains the absolute certainty of its decisions,' p. 274, and declares that 'the sense of obligation, the recognition of an act as something which ought to be done, or to be left undone, is the capital fact in our moral being : it is the foundation and superstructure of our moral nature,' p. 277.
Dr. LAURENS P. HICKOK, well known for his ability as a mental philosopher, has a treatise entitled System of Moral Science, published in London, 1853. We do not apprehend pure truth, except we have some ground in which the truth is, inasmuch as truth always particularizes, and can give no criterion of itself in general. This is the same in moral truth, as in mathematical and philosophical. Hence the necessity of finding some ground on which the truth of the ultimate Rule of the right shall be made immediately manifest. This can be done only by a clear apprehension of the Highest Good, since that must be the ground on which the ultimate rule shall reveal itself,' p. 41. 'No sensible appearance nor mental conception can be scarcely ever given to the mind as
a mere dry intellect.' All our feelings will range under two distinct classes : (1.) 'Feelings which cannot rest in mere contemplation' (Desires); (2.) 'Feelings which rest in the object itself ... for its own sake' (Sentiments), 42, 3. Those of the second class are called forth only in the presence of some pure ideal excellency, which the mind holds up to its own view, or some copy which it may compare with the pure ideal,' 43. There are thus two kinds of Good, the one utility, the other dignity. Spiritual life is the dignity given to humanity. This is proved, (1.) by Taste, through which the pure forms of art are put upon every object which ministers to the gratification of the appetite ;' (2.) by Science, since ‘Philosophy is cherished for its own sake, and the universal truths are attained by which both man and nature are interpreted ;' (3.) by the Imperative of the spirit's own excellence. There is to each spirit, "an inner world of conscious prerogative .. from which comes forth perpetually the imperative that every action be restrained by that which is due to its own dignity,' 47. • The Highest Good,—the SUMMUM BONUM,—is worthiness of spiritual approbation.' "That this is ultimate, intuitively appears in many ways,' p. 49.-See also Hickok's Empirical Psychology, New York, 1859, Divisions second and third.
Another work deserving attention is that of Dr. JOSEPH HAVEN, Mental Philosophy, Boston, 1857. Among the conceptions which constitute the furniture of the mind, there is one which, in many respects, is unlike all others, ... that is, the notion or idea of right,' p. 303. "The ideas in question (the right and wrong) are intuitive; suggestions or perceptions of reason.' 'Regarded subjectively, as conceptions of the human mind, right and wrong . . . are simple ideas, incapable of analysis or definition; intuitions of reason. Regarded as objective, right and wrong are realities, qualities absolute and inherent in the nature of things, not relative merely to the human mind, but independent, essential, universal, absolute. . . . Judgment decides that such and such actions do
possess the one or the other of these qualities, ... there follows the sense of obligation, . . . and the consciousness of merit and demerit, . . . and certain emotions which we are constituted to feel,' 312-13.
But · Conscience is not always a safe guide,' 324.
Of quite recent books, the following are worthy of attention: -GROTE's Utilitarianism,-a posthumous publication, and at times more diffuse than it might have been under the author's revision; but a candid, careful, and very powerful criticism. With this, take the able critique in Lecky's Hist. of Europ. Morals, chap. i. The Theory of Practice, 2 vols., Lond. 1870, by Dr. SHADWORTH HODGSON, an exceedingly able and elaborate work, in which the author seeks to reach moral law by a path in harmony with a theory of evolution, though distinct from that taken by the Utilitarian school. PROFESSOR BLACKIE has given us a valuable addition to Ethical literature in his Four Phases of Morals, full of important exposition and criticism. The Conscience, by the late Prof. F. D. MAURICE, a book more of popular than of scientific structure. It opens with an admirable chapter on the Ego or I, and then proceeds to treat of Conscience, saying that ‘Conscience is that in me which says I ought or I ought not.' This word 'ought' is insepar
' able from Self. Ethics of Theism, by Dr. LEITCH, the second part of which contains a discussion of the leading ethical questions; and in dealing with the criterion of morals shows that neither the will of God, nor utility, nor sentiment can afford the criterion. The Philosophy of Ethics, by Mr. SIMON S. LAURIE, taken with Notes, Expository and Critical, on certain British Theories of Morals, by the same author, in which the leading points of each theory are brought out with marked felicity. The student is further referred to the exceedingly valuable article in the Encyclopædia Britannica on Moral Philosophy, by the Rev. Dr. LINDSAY ALEXANDER, Edinburgh; MACKINTOSH'S Dissertation; and WHEWELL'S Lectures on the Hist. of Mor. Philosophy.
1. CONSCIENCE (conscientia, ovveídnois, Gewissen) is that power of mind by which moral law is discovered to each individual for the guidance of his conduct. It is the Reason as that discovers to us absolute moral truth-having the authority of sovereign moral law. It is an essential requisite for the direction of an intelligent free-will agent, and affords the basis for moral obligation and responsibility in human life.
2. Conscience, in discovering to us truth, having the authority of moral law, is seen to be a cognitive or intellectual power. Either it does not discover truth ; or, if it does, it is not a form of feeling, or combination of feelings, or affections, or emotions, or desires. Feeling may exist as fact, and thus have reality ; but it is not in itself of the nature of regulative truth, and it cannot by its action produce such truth. Truth is that which we can see, and implies seeing power. Moral law is that which we can know, and implies knowing power. Hume, while allowing the action of intellect, assigns to feeling the final award.'—Essays, App. I. Mackintosh makes conscience a combination of our moral sentiments or feelings, which have no other object but the mental dispositions leading to voluntary action.'-Dissert. Encyc. Brit., Whewell's edit. pp. 152, 215, 323.